When the Legal System Turns On Itself

As we know the state has been having a hard time finding enough of the chemicals used in lethal injection to execute all of the prisoners currently on death row. Part of the reason for this is because European drug manufacturers are doing everything within their power to withhold these drugs from being used in state executions. This has lead the state to look for domestic suppliers of the drugs. While such suppliers do exist they are being subjected to the same legal system that put convicts on death row. A domestic seller of the drugs used in lethal injection faced a lawsuit if it supplied said drugs to the Missouri prison system. Instead of dealing with the lawsuit the seller not to sell the drugs:

In a lawsuit filed in federal court this month against the Apothecary Shoppe, Taylor’s lawyers said US drug regulations barred the pharmacy from supplying the drug for use in the execution, and asked the judge to block the sale.

Among other arguments, they said the pharmacy’s custom-made pentobarbital would cause him “severe, unnecessary, lingering, and ultimately inhumane pain” during the execution.

They argued the unregulated nature of compounding pharmacies in the US yielded “no evidence [the pharmacy] will or even has the capacity to test the pentobarbital… to ensure it will not cause unnecessary pain and suffering.”

In recent days, the Apothecary Shoppe notified Taylor’s lawyers it would not sell pentobarbital to Missouri for the execution – and had not already.

In return, Taylor’s lawyers filed a motion late on Monday to drop their suit.

It’s rather ironic that the same legal system that sentences people to death has been successfully used to make the execution of a convicted man more difficult (although it’s likely that Missouri either has a stockpile of the drugs on hand or will find an alternative way to kill the convict). Sometimes a bloated bureaucracy can be used to muddle itself up. I only hope this trend continues because if there’s one thing I would like to see made more difficult for the state it’s executing people.